Our Leadership


Murat Ülker


Murat Ülker was born in 1959. He graduated from the Management Department of the School of Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.

Mr Ülker studied sector-specific subjects at international schools such as the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and Zentralfachschule der Deutschen Süßwarenwirtschaft (ZDS), serving an internship at American company Continental Baking. In three years he visited nearly 60 biscuit, chocolate and food factories in the United States and Europe. He also worked on various projects for the International Executive Service Corps (IESC).

Mr Ülker joined Yıldız Holding in 1984 as a control coordinator. Over the following years he assumed the roles of assistant general manager, and then general director. As a member of the executive committee and a board member of various companies in the group, he led a series of cornerstone investments.

In 2000 Mr Ülker became chairman of the executive committee, serving as chairman for eight years. In 2008 he became chairman of the Board of Directors.

Mr Ülker is known for his interest in modern art and Islamic calligraphy. He enjoys sailing and travelling with his wife and three children.


Alİ Ülker

Vice Chairman

Ali Ülker was born in 1969 and educated in the Business Administration Department of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He has also attended various programs at IMD and Harvard. He worked in the Internal Kaizen Projects at De Boccard & Yorke Consultancy (1992) and on IESC Sales System Development and Internal Organization Projects (1997).

Mr Ülker joined the group in 1985 as an intern in the quality control department of Ülker Gıda. From 1986 to 1998 he worked at chocolate production facilities and at Atlas Gıda Pazarlama in positions including sales manager, sales coordinator, product group coordinator, and product group director.

In 1998 Mr Ülker became general director of Atlas Gıda Pazarlama, and in 2001 became the general director of Merkez Gıda Pazarlama. In 2002, he rose to vice chairman of the food group and in 2005 chairman of the group. Working as vice chairman of the Yıldız Holding Board of Directors since 2011, Ali Ülker is also the chairman of the Global Innovation Group and Quality Group and acts as Chief Synergies Officer.

Ali Ülker is married with three children. He enjoys fishing, cinema and literature, as well as playing basketball and billiards.


Cem Karakaş-

Vice Chairman-

Born in 1974, Dr Cem Karakaş received his bachelor’s degree from Middle East Technical University, his master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his doctoral degree from Istanbul University.

Dr Karakaş began his career at Koç Holding, in the Strategic Planning Group. He became Director of New Business Development at OYAK Group, the largest institutional investor in Turkey, and General Manager at OYAK Real Estate Development. Over the years, he served as board member of some of the largest Turkish corporations. From 2006 to 2010 Dr Karakaş was CFO of Erdemir Group.

He is one of Turkey’s leading experts in mergers and acquisitions, with more than 100 operations to his credit.

Dr Karakaş has been the CFO of Yıldız Holding since 2010 and is appointed as the Executive Deputy Chairman, as of October.

Dr Karakaş is married, with two children. He enjoys scuba diving and skiing.